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Horror - Pumpkinhead - Collector's Edition

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Pumpkinhead - Collector's Edition
Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, Kimberley Ross
Directed by Stan Winston
MGM 1988
MGM Home Video 2008
86 minutes

Pumpkinhead is a good horror movie DVD. Though a low budget production, Pumpkinhead will still provide a solid scare for those looking for one. The monster is not only original but still pretty cool looking 20 years later. This DVD makes for excellent Halloween night viewing even if the scary bits take a while.

Single dad Ed Harley’s little boy gets accidentally killed by Joel, an idiot city slicker out doing some motocross. Ed decides to call in some back woods juju and invokes the pumpkinhead an Alien style demon to avenge him. Of course, Joel’s friends are also the target of Ed and the monster’s wrath even if most of them did nothing wrong and they conveniently decide to all hide out in a cabin in the woods.

Part of the originality of this horror movie is Ed’s price for invoking the creature is part and parcel of what makes it scary.

The actors playing the young adult in Pumpkinhead would go on to be bit players in various movies. This is not really important though as their characters are only there as fodder for the monster and Ed’s wrath.

Lance Henriksen carries the movie as the wronged father out for revenge. His rather economical approach to the role is part of what creates the tension in this horror movie. Florence Schauffler is excellent as the old lady who brings the monster to life.

For a low-budget movie, Pumpkinhead is quite scary and really visually interesting. Director Stan Winston’s use of lighting and atmospherics is impressive. This is especially true for the scenes in the old lady’s house.

The Pumpkinhead Collector’s Edition DVD features a commentary track by one of the writers and one of the monster makers, various shorts about the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and the original trailer.

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